Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Master eBay Selling Guide

The Master eBay Selling Guide below is a collection of tips, tricks, and ways to maximize profit by selling on eBay collected from years of personal experience, forums, and sites all around the web. If you have read my previous two blogs and have followed the directions, right now you should have a feedback rating of 98-100%, have bough 5-10 items, researched items you might want to sell and categories you are interested selling in.

The first step to selling is ALWAYS to calculate all costs: all Paypal/eBay fees, shipping/DC/packaging materials, item cost, minimum profit you'll accept, self insurance if applicable. The combined total is good marker for where you will need your starting/selling price to begin. Go Here to see all of eBay's fees, and make sure you calculate all the other fees I have listed on top of those.
Next, start low. You don't want to put out an item that sells for average of $550 out as your first item sold on eBay. First off it's a little suspicious and since you are new, you won't have a lot of trust in your rating, not as many people will fully trust you, so it will scare away some bidders and you could lose a lot of profit on that big item. So start small, sell a few lower priced items that are easy to ship. The easiest way to start selling is to identify items that are around your house and are no longer used, and put them for sale on eBay. This will help you boost your trustworthiness and experience as a new eBay seller and won’t cost you any money up front because you already own what you are going to sell. Eventually however, you will run out of things around your house that you can sell so you’ll have to look elsewhere for your inventory. The best way to do this is finding a few highly demanded product for relatively low cost and then selling it on eBay for a profit.

When you are actually listing the price your item, be very cautious. A lower price will attract more attention and bidders but you may end up getting a lower price for it, also some bidders may be scared off by the competition for the item and resign themselves to not being able to get it.  If you price higher, some people may just not like the price and be deterred by that itself.  Shipping price is also crucial. People really get put off by shipping charges that are too high and unfair. Free shipping attracts buyers and you will more than likely be able to get more money for your item , which in turn will cover the original shipping cost you thought would be fair. Research how you are going to ship it before you actually do.Your profits will suffer if you do not learn how to control your shipping costs. Make sure that you are getting the best deal possible on your shipping materials BEFORE you list anything for sale on eBay.  I personally think that it is a MUST to have a digital shipping scale if you are serious about buying/selling for a profit. This will let you know exact prices in shipping and let you calculate down to the penny.  

Ship everything ASAP that is bought from you. The faster you ship, the happier people are since they get their item. You can list that it will take 2-5 business days to ship but if you make the effort and ship THAT day as soon as it is bought, you will get extremely good feedback and it encourages that people are in good hands and they are going to get their purchase faster than anywhere else.   
Chose a category for your listing carefully, it can be difficult as there are hundreds to choose from, this is important as by this is what many buyers base their purchases off of.

Adding a picture of your item is a must; around 30% more people look at items with pictures than items without, the more people who look at your item the better chance you have of selling it.  Make sure you have a high quality digital camera, a bad photo is a great way to ruin an awesome eBay listing.  A photo will show people exactly what they are buying.

Communication is key.  Communicating with a buyer by leaving feedback or messaging them to let them know the item is on its way will build up your reputation.

Here comes maybe the most important part of selling:
This includes the Title AND Description. The title and description should be done in a profession and clean way. That doesn't mean including random signs that make it pop like, IT'5 S000 C00L! GET iT NOW! CHEAP CA$H! PHONE!  No. You want to include as much detail as possible while still saying exactly what it is and getting the most searches.  So if it's a silver dollar coin don't put just that and leave the rest to your description.  You would want something like Silver Lincoln MS-22 Penny Coin 1858.  That may not be historically accurate but that's what I mean. That way if someone just searches, coin, or silver coin, or Lincoln, or penny, your listing will come up in all of them. The description people want to see what is exactly entailed when they buy this product and what are its features and what it comes with. 

For the description make sure to describe the condition and the details of your item as accurately as possible. If you are selling an item on eBay that is brand new then the condition of the item will pretty much speak for itself.  But if it is used, make sure to include EVERY single defect about the product that would be different about a brand new product, it doesn't matter how inconsequential it is to you, it isn't like that for the buyer.Your buyers will expect and understand that used products will have some degree of wear and tear. Document all of the wear and tear with photographs and display them in your listings so that the buyer knows how it looks and how severe the wear and tear actually is.

Some final tips before I end this blog:
These next few tips and tricks are CRUCIAL to improving profit and only experienced seller's normally know of these.

1.  Listing Time: If you want  the most people to see your product as possible, set the auction up to end on between 7-9 pm.  That is when most people are home, have unwound and ate dinner, and are on their computer.  Sunday is probably your best option but Monday works as well.  If you can't end it at those times, no worries, but you may lose out on a few bucks.

2. Always Add .99 onto Your Shipping
: Pretty simple. Make your shipping 1.99 or 2.99 or 5.99 if you have a shipping price. Not $6 or $4. People don't always add up the costs of the cents and it gives you an extra dollar or more sometimes.

3. Ship for free? Or not?
Buyers naturally love free shipping but to sellers it’s just another cost of doing business on eBay. Some sellers claim that by offering free shipping you can typically recuperate the shipping cost in your auction price because people will bid higher when an auction has free shipping. Here’s a suggestion: If free shipping is the norm for a particular product then I too will offer free shipping if I am trying to also sell THAT particular product. Electronics items for example, are usually sold with free shipping because competition amongst sellers is pretty intense in that market. However some other items such as collectables may be best to not be sold with free shipping..

4. Start your auctions at a low price.
A low auction start price will attract more buyers and will cost you less money in eBay listing fees. Some sellers prefer to list ALL their auctions at .99 cents and have no reserve price (A reserve price means if the auction does not go above $__ then you don't have to sell it) Do your research in this department however, there are some markets where you would want to start your auction at a higher price and or use a reserve price.  Also, those who start ALL auctions at .99 cents normally have been on eBay a very long time, have a great reputation and a lot more customers than a new seller.

Now your ready to list! Go for it! Find some items and start making money.

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